Tuesday 23 April 2019

Ireland and before...

The week before I went to Ireland I was at Barnardo's on Monday as usual. I spent the whole  morning 'decoding' the stock on the shop floor. It was called 'culling' at the Red Cross, which brings images of dead seals to mind! Anyway, it means getting rid of stock that has been out on the shop floor for a while; checking the date on the label, deciding whether it is to be sent on to another shop or ragged or even reduced. Whilst I was doing this the Manager was reorganising where the clothing went and generally refreshing the whole shop. It certainly worked, because as an example, a rather nice pink coat from Zara, which had been languishing on the pink rail (the shop colour codes the clothes) for weeks was moved to another part of the shop and bought ten minutes later by a young woman! I enjoy the decoding as it gives me a chance to look through what there is on the shop floor in detail; and I put aside four reduced items for myself. A bright green M&S cardigan; a dark blue summer cardigan by M&S; a pair of red patterned floral - or so I thought - leggings by Nike and a cream tunic also by M&S. All the M&S items were reduced to 1.50 each and the leggings to 2.50.

Everything charity shopped. Tunic by Adini and leggings by Nike from Barnardo's. The pattern on the leggings is actually camouflage not floral! Oh well! The jacket is by M&S and was charity shopped in Kettering. Black Next boots charity shopped in Oxfam.

 All jewellery charity shopped. Scarf from Primarni.

I had a wander around a few of the Bedford charity shops on Tuesday afternoon as I had stuff to do in town. I bought a book and a shoe rack. This purchase triggered off another bout of reorganisation when I got home; this time of shoes and boots. I now have four storage boxes under my bed two of which contain shoes - soon to be boots - when I swap over to my Spring and Summer wardrobe; but that won't be until after I come back from Ireland and will depend on the weather! The new shoe rack is filled with my shoes and when I clear my boots off the existing shoe rack I will have space for all my shoes and sandals in one place and can see what I have. Usually they're in several different places and I like the idea of them being together.

I didn't want to get up early again on Wednesday and walk with my group, so I set off in the afternoon to walk from Sharnbrook to Felmersham. I absolutely loved the aubretia outside this house in Sharnbrook and what the photo doesn't show is that it continues along to the right and round a corner!

I spied a thatched cat!

Cherry blossom is still around but it won't be long before there are petals everywhere...
I had a very pleasant 5.5. mile walk. I heard a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Green Woodpecker or Yaffle. They make a sound like a maniacal laugh and it can be quite startling when you're  walking alone!  I  caught a glimpse of it a few seconds later. I also heard Great Tits and Skylarks.  I saw Blue tits, Coal tits, a Blackcap and the usual suspects; Wood pigeons, Magpies, Rooks, Blackbirds and Robins. I think I saw what is called a Reed Bunting but I can't be 100% sure; the blasted things never stay still long enough for me to fix them in my mind's eye so I can check in my bird books when I get home! And as soon as I whip out my binoculars for a closer look they fly off..

This was Thursday's outfit. The trousers are loose above ankle ones; my first pair of these and bought as part of a 3.00 BOGOF deal at the 3:16 charity shop; which in effect makes them free. They're by Boden and I like them!

Kimono by Top Shop charity shopped last year but can't remember where; the top I've had for a few years now was also charity shopped but can't remember where.

Mary Jane's charity shopped somewhere and all jewellery charity shopped.

On Friday,  I went to the hairdressers then walked with my friend Lynne. We walked 10 miles. From Biddenham to Bromham to Kempston West End and back to Bromham.  Part of where we walked followed the 'Clay Trail'; so called because it used to lead to Stewartby village where the London Brick company was located for many years. Bedfordshire soil is famously clayey or claggy and ideal for brick making. We stopped for tea and cake at Bromham Mill and then walked to Biddenham where Lynne lives and where I'd left my car. A lovely walk and it got quite warm and sunny near the end.

A cowslip meadow.

Some early bluebells.

I bought this dress in the Keech Hospice shop, I think; it was only a few months ago but I can't remember how much it was; under a fiver anyway. The tights were a birthday present from my daughter. Boots; Matalan retail.

Oh dear! Charlie's dead. (My slip is showing!) This is what we called it in London where I grew up.

And again...

All jewellery charity shopped except necklace bought from a local shop called 'Simi and Lola'; sadly now online only.

Saturday's outfit.

I spent Saturday washing and packing for Ireland. I have to write a list and then tick everything off because if I don't we'll leave something important behind. One year I drove off leaving our brand new electric heater for the caravan behind!

Everything charity shopped except the boots; as above and blue top under the tunic/dress which I bought in Primark ages  ago. The dress/tunic is by Lily and Me.
The tights were bought in Traid in Brixton on one of my recent London forays. They're made of bamboo and were brand new; still in the packet, very warm and I paid 5.00 for them.

All jewellery charity shopped.

The rest of Saturday I spent catching up with final episodes of 'The Missing Series I' which OH and I started to watch after watching the recent series; 'The Missing Series 3'.  We also watched The Missing Series 2' so we've watched the whole series now, but in reverse order; 3.2.1! I've also nearly finished reading 'The Corner' (628 pages). I'll be able to finish it in Ireland and then I have plenty on my Kindle to read and there are lots of books in the caravan waiting to be read.

 We got up early on Sunday and caught the afternoon ferry from Holyhead. This is us docking at Dublin Port. For the first time in the five years I've been travelling this route we were asked to produce our passports and driving licences! I'm blaming Brexit...

We stayed with my cousin Eamon and his wife, Ann for a few days and had a really lovely time. They live in Kells, Co. Meath. We went sightseeing and managed to find a few charity shops in Navan where I bought a pair of 'ruby slippers' for 2.00 euros.

The view from Slane Castle

Castle at Trim

Lovely Georgian door in Kells town.

An ancient Celtic cross in Kells church yard dating from around the 9th century. They keep a facsimile of The Book of Kells in this church but it was closed when we visited. The original Book of Kells is in Trinity College, Dublin. We spent a day in Dublin where we did an open top bus tour of the city:

The GPO building in O'Connell Street.

Lovely Georgian houses in a Dublin Square.

Another lovely Dublin building.

The Mansion House in Dawson Street home to the Lord Mayor of Dublin.

St. Patrick's Windmill or the Guinness Tower.

 Áras an Uachtaráin
Home to the Irish President and situated in Phoenix Park.

National Museum of Ireland.

We made it up to Donegal on Wednesday...

There she is! Ruby Super; our second home. It's the one with the car outside in case you're wondering...

Apart from generally chilling out, visiting relatives and having a great time we spent the remainder of our time in the caravan. There were several charity shop expeditions to Donegal town, Killybegs, and Ballyboffey; as well as a visit to Sligo to see various cousins.  We also made it to Leitrim to see my elderly aunts and a cousin.

Everything above was charity shopped except the boots. Dress by Masai; cardigan bought in a charity shop somewhere years ago, tights can't remember and scarf from my Barnardo's. This was taken by the River Garravogue in Sligo town.

All jewellery charity shopped.

The Irish Famine memorial at the quayside in Sligo.

There are hundreds of these memorials all over Ireland and Famine pots that were used to feed the starving Irish during the famine period  (1845 - 1849) or 'The Great Hunger' as it is known in Ireland. I
The Donegal town famine pot and money for food during the famine was donated by the Choctaw Nation to the people of Donegal. I must take a photo of it when I'm back in the summer.

The blue boiled wool jacket was from the 1.00 euro rail in a Dublin charity shop; animal print dress 1.00 rail in RSPCA; Ampthill. Leggings from Tu retail and boots as before.

All jewellery and scarf charity shopped.

Donegal has some wonderful beaches

The sun had gone in here but came back out again. This is Coral beach at St. John's Point.

Here it is again with the tide in...

This is Narin Strand at Portnoo.

And although you can't see much of it here this is Rossnowlagh beach. I'm wearing my beach shoes - an old pair of Clark's loafers charity shopped years ago. Skirt by Apricot; charity shopped and although it doesn't look it in this photo it is green. Striped top 1.00 euro in Killybegs charity shop and green cardigan 3.00 euros in same shop.

All jewellery charity shopped.

It was a lovely break and we had a wonderful time but it's good to be back! I'm off to catch up with your blogs now as the Wifi was non existent at the caravan park. I wonder what you've all been up to?


  1. Welcome home, Vronni!
    Glad your trip to Ireland was good. It's been years since I went to Dublin (a very sedate hen weekend), I loved the Georgian architecture.
    Good to see you back in Blogland with another sensational round-up of outfits. I particularly love the outfit your wearing on Rossnowlagh beach, that glorious green and lovely maxi are just lovely. The Masai outfit is great, love the necklace and camo or not the Nike leggings are perfect with that dress.
    That's the problem with colour co-ordinated charity shops, you can't see the wood for the trees, I bet lots of good stuff gets missed the first time round. I wish they'd stop doing it!
    I think I need to live in Sharnbrook - how pretty is that house? xxx

    1. Thank you, Vix!

      Yes, I totally agree about the coloured co ordinated rails. I hate it, too.

      Hope Gilbert has recovered...

  2. Welcome back! What a nice getaway for you. I loved seeing your photos of Dublin. I've never been.

    I think your last outfit is my favourite. Green is lovely on you and somehow so fresh for spring.


    1. Thank you, Suzanne.

      Dublin is so worth a visit - as is the whole of Ireland...

  3. Hooray, welcome back! Thank you for the lovely post - I've had a marvelous time catching up with your outfits, and oh, those gorgeous scenery pictures. I hope to make it to Ireland one day!!

    Your leggings are just awesome - love that red camo and all your stripes! I am a fan of Masai's clothing - they really do stripes well. That flowy skirt you're wearing on the beach is the kind of thing I live in during summer.

    1. Thank you, Sheila.

      Yes do try and go to Ireland; its a lovely country with a lot of history; lovely scenery; very welcoming people; great food and then there's the Guinness...

  4. Welcome back. Oh my goodness - "Charlie's dead" - I remember that phrase too! Is it just a London thing I wonder? You seem to have had a great time. Beautiful scenes and sunshine! We too have just been away and I think I have started to bore everyone with posts about our trip on my blog :)

    1. I've been reading your 'break'; posts. Looks like you had a great time, too!

  5. welcome back! so lovely to see all these beautiful pictures of buildings and landscapes in Ireland!!
    And I love particularly those patterned tights (and leggins) you've been wearing, they totally rock!. And you look particularly cool and gorgeous in your tunics and dresses, so fab!! love the striped ensemble.
    Your last picture is particularly cute!, walking on the beach!!

    1. Thank you, Monica.

      A change is as good as a rest so they say...

  6. So many great outfits! It must be nice to pick up a bargain or two at work.

    That looks like a lovely trip - Dublin looks really pretty, all so clean and bright. I had no idea there were so many famine memorials; all we know about my g-g-grandfather McDonald is that he was an orphan from Cork, and I've always wondered if it was because of the famine as the timing is right.

    I was intrigued by the petticoat thing, and there seem to be all sorts of explanations where the phrase came from, to the point where no-one's actually sure.

    1. Mim, I believe the population was reduced to a third of its original number by the famine and subsequent emigration to escape it so it could well that that drove to GG Grandfather to emigrate.

  7. Glad to hear you had a good trip.

    I wasn't familiar with the Chotaw gift-I'm sorry to say that's exactly the sort of history that gets ignored in American schools. Reading a bit online, that would have been a very large amount of money from a group that was also living in poverty and forced relocation.

  8. I might be late to the party, as I've only just come back from a little trip of my own, but welcome back, Vronni! I'm pleased to hear you had a great trip. I really must make it to Ireland one day. Fascinating read about "The Great Hunger" and the Famine Pots. Like Vix, I'm not a big fan of colour coordinated charity shops. I once went to one here in Belgium which even had helpful labels identifying the colours, which had me in stitches ... Favourite outfit is the one you're wearing on Rossnowlagh beach. I love the symphony of greens, even though the camera made the skirt look grey ... Some colours really are hard to catch on camera, aren't they? xxx

    1. I don't like colour co ordinated charity shops either, but labelling the colours sounds daft to me! Although if you suffer from colour blindness it might help...

  9. What a lovely post. Like the above commenter I love the green cardi. And continuing the green theme I also loved the green striped leggings with the grey tunic and the green necklace - all your jewellery is superb. I've decided that I really do need some under-the-bed storage which should help with my clothes looking a bit squashed in the wardrobe as I have two seasons worth of clothes there now after our 4 days of warm weather! That actually means a new bed as we have a divan with no under the bed space. Pix of your holiday in Ireland also much appreciated. Dublin looks great - simply must go! Have a great week xxx

    1. Thank you, Penny.I hesitated about posting that final outfit post as I didn't really like how the colour of the skirt didn't show as green; but surprisingly everyone who's commented say it's their favourite!

      Under bed storage is a Godsend! I recently bought blocks that raise our bed by 5 inches, so that has made the under bed storage easily accessible. Bought the blocks from Amazon for about 15.00 as I raised our sofa up, too (by 3 inches); fed up trying to scramble up out of it!

  10. Again, some ace pattern mixing going on there, missus! I had to laugh at "Charlie's dead". That's happened to me so often taking outfit pics!


Blogoversary and some other stuff

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